24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Eternal Sonata (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Eternal Sonata is one of those games that delivers a refreshing twist to an already-outdone genre. When I first read that it was a RPG set in the dreams of the dying composer Chopin, I almost laughed. Such a crazy idea would never play out well! Or, will it?
Firstly, I'm going to talk about the graphics. Eternal Sonata definitely impresses on just about every graphical level; the cutscenes rival the very best Disney movies, and the in game cell-shading in a real-time world is truly breathtaking. The atmosphere in this game is truly astounding, little details like light flourishes through tree canopies, and floating petals from flower fields...It truly comes together to make a spectacular, dreamy world to play in. A minor annoyance is that the camera is fixed, and thus there's no freedom to look over the dreamy landscapes, and it leaves you wondering what beauty lies just beyond the paths you are forced to walk. A quick note, although the camera is fixed, never once does it become awkward, or get in the way. The camera is done just perfectly, in my opinion. Another note, this game runs as smoothly as butter, and there's never any frame drops! I want to say this has been recorded at 60fps but don't quote me. It's just smooth.
The story revolves around Chopin, and his party of followers that he meets whilst in his dreams. The voice acting isn't terrible, and definitely gets better as the game progresses, but this is after all a Japanese RPG, so we can forgive that aspect. Characters are so vibrant, and the personalities are so real, for once there's an RPG where you actually care about the characters! I suppose this is almost playing a book, with Disney film style graphics, there's real depth and character, and real involvement on the player's behalf.
Music? The score to this game features music composed from Chopin, as well as some specially-performed tracks, and overall the music is absolutely stunning. It's graceful, elegant and definitely beautiful to listen to. This is just another aspect where this game excels!
There's no more random encounters, either! All enemies are present in the world, so you have the choice whether to fight or not. The levelling system isn't the best, either. Save for a few boss battles, you never really have any trouble with enemies, even with the weakest characters. The battles are done very well too, mixing traditional turn-based techniques with a clever time limit which promotes quick thinking and a little button bashing. Overall, I think its a very good system and it makes for fun play during the long long hours spent on this game!
Overall, the game is stunning. Great visuals, stunning musical score, and a gripping story. There's fairly limited replayability, though. As once you know the plot and how the game ends, there's very little reason to go back other than to witness the sheer splendour of the environments once more. Definitely an RPG worth having.